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Two hunters knell next to the big elk they've just taken.

Free-range Elk

The Best Elk Hunts in Texas

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A flash photo of a hunter next to his trophy elk


Texas has a healthy population of Rocky Mountain Elk, and they can be found in several mountain ranges in the western part of the state. I have access to over 500,000 acres of that land. It’s the best spot for great, high-desert, free-range Elk hunting in Texas, and one of the best spots for it in the country.

I also have Elk on a high-fence ranch in the Hill Country that is eleven and a half square miles. There are usually 200 to 300 of them on this ranch at any point in time, and all of them were born and raised on the ranch. That's unique for a high-fence ranch in Texas -- most ranchers buy Elk and release them every year. This normally yields bigger bulls, but they aren't very wild, and the experience is more of a harvest than it is a hunt.

This Hill Country ranch has large areas of water, big canyons, big meadows, and big pleateaus . This terrain (combined with the number of Elk on the ranch) makes for an amazing hunting opportunity!

Licenses are easily obtained over the counter, and there is no closed season or state drawing for Elk tags in Texas. Hunts are permitted using firearms or using archery equipment. One of the biggest advantages of Elk hunting in Texas is that we can rifle hunt during the peak of the rut, while the bulls are bugling.

Note that the demand for my free-range Elk hunts is very high, and I’m typically booked at least a year out, and sometimes two. If want to get on the schedule, get in touch as soon as you can.


There's a lot of good information on this page, so you probably want to read the whole thing. But if you're interested in something specific, use this menu to hop to exactly the right spot.

Everything you need to know



Elk hunting in Texas isn’t as strenuous as you might expect. The hunts in West Texas aren’t easy, but they are far less strenuous than Elk hunts in the higher elevations of other western states, like hunts in the Rocky Mountains.

My Elk hunts in the Hill country are even less strenuous than those in West Texas. And they provide more opportunities for big bulls than the West Texas hunts do. Because a lot of my hunts are safari style out of a vehicle, these hunts are good for hunters that are less physically fit, have health or mobility issues, or just prefer something less strenuous than the hunts out West.


On Elk hunts, we try different approaches and find what works best. During the rut, we’ll try calling them in. When the bulls are bugling and trying to round up their harems, they are easier to locate and more receptive to coming in to calls. There’s nothing more exciting than waiting for a screaming bull charging through a canyon in response to your cow calls --  the loud bugles bounce off the canyon walls.

If it’s hot and dry, we may sit over a water hole or a wallow that draws them in. On most Elk hunts, we cover a lot of country and use a combination of approaches to get the job done. That makes for an exciting hunt!

A typical hunting day starts before daylight with a quick breakfast, and then we’re off to start the hunt. Late morning we’ll break for brunch/lunch, after which we’ll hunt until late afternoon or early evening. After getting back to camp for the night, we’ll have a hearty, hot-off-the grill dinner and a relaxing evening before heading to bed.

It’s worth noting that I don’t have a big camp where you will be in a lodge with a bunch of people you don’t know. When you hunt  with me, you or your group have exclusive rights to the ranch for lodging and hunting.


Elk are one of the largest species of the deer family and also one of the largest land mammals in North America. 

They stand four to five feet tall at the shoulder, and a mature bull can weigh as much as 1,300 pounds. Their color typically varies from a copper brown in the summer to a light tan in the fall and winter, and they have a light beige or whitish rump patch, and darker legs and neck. Only bulls have antlers and they shed them in March. By September they have shed their “velvet” and are “hard horned.”

Elk can thrive in a diverse habitat, but most are found in mountain forests or near the forest edges. It's common for them to stay in higher altitudes in warm weather and move down to lower altitudes in the cold.


Elk can be hunted year round, but the best time is during the rut in September and October.

I do my Elk hunts in two areas: West Texas for free range hunts, or hunts on my Hill Country high-fence ranch. If you want to hunt free-range Elk, West Texas is the only place in the state to do that. 

For West Texas hunts, if you are traveling by air, fly into El Paso or Midland / Odessa and rent a car to drive to the ranch.

For Hill Country hunts, if you are traveling by air, fly into the San Antonio International Airport. Rent a car there and drive to the ranch.

A flash photo of a hunter with his big trophy elk


To prepare for your hunt, take a look at my packing lists. Some of the links on those lists are affiliate links — that means that I earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Note, however, that I only recommend products that I use myself. In addition, take a look at my recommendations for hunting gear.

The weather in Texas can be unpredictable, and change quickly and abruptly. Make sure to check the weather forecast and pack appropriately.

Generally, summers are very hot, winters can get quite raw (especially in West Texas), and early spring and late fall days often have huge temperature swings with cold evenings, nights and mornings, and warm or hot afternoons.

For most hunts, prepare to dress in layers so you can add or take off clothing as temperatures shift throughout the day. For warm weather hunts, pack clothes that breathe, are well ventilated, and keep the sun off of you. For mountain hunts, avoid cotton — wool or synthetic works best.

For hunts in the late spring, summer and early fall, Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent is invaluable. We do a lot of walking through tall grass, and chiggers and ticks can be a problem. With Sawyer Permethrin you don’t have to worry about them. It's sprayed on your clothing and once it dries it’s odorless and colorless. I LOVE this product, and literally never leave home without it!

And one last - but very important - note: Do NOT wear new boots! Make sure your boots are well broken in!



Daily rate is required only for the Hill Country ranch. Elk hunts are typically booked far in advance, so call to see what's available.

0 - $325

Daily Rate

Call for pricing and availability

Trophy Fee

Elk Trophy Hunts

$3,000 per hunter


    • 5 days & 4 nights (West Texas Free Range Elk Hunts)

    • Meals

    • Lodging

    • Guide

    • Transportation around the ranch

    • Field care of your trophy

    • Non-hunting guests – $250/person/night

    • Javelina – $600/each (West Texas)

    • Aoudad – $3750/each (West Texas)

    • Axis – $3500 (Hill Country)

    • Blackbuck – $2500 (Hill Country)


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